Week 5 – “Midterm” by Derek Spitters

Over the past four weeks, we have studied many of the connections between art, science, and technology. Although we started this course by looking at the divide that exists between the “two cultures,” it is clear that there is an increasing interconnectedness between the arts and the sciences. It seems that without science, there could be no art, and without art, there could be no science. Many of the tools used by artists have their roots in technological advances. Similarly, many scientific breakthroughs are the result of creative thinking. We have looked at various specific examples of the link between these two seemingly unrelated worlds. First, we examined how mathematics plays a role in artwork. Mathematic techniques allow artists to create more accurate depictions of the real world. Additionally, mathematical relationships can be found in some of the most beautiful works of nature. After exploring pure mathematics, we moved on to some more practical examples of technology in art. We then studied kinetic art and robotics. Although robots were initially created to perform certain actions in the place of humans, it is clear that there is also a place for them in art. One of the most interesting questions that this raises is what exactly constitutes art. If a robot creates a replica of a painting, is that art? Additionally, will we ever be able to build robots that can create their own original works of art. One of the most interesting subjects we discussed was the presence of medicine in art. I am planning on becoming a physician, and therefore, I am very interested in the application of medicine in art. It is clear that there is an inherent beauty to the human body, but medical augmentation of the body raises many ethical and moral questions. Putting these questions aside, some artists have explored the medium of the human body. It is apparent that the central theme throughout all of these topics is that the arts and sciences share a unique synergetic relationship. These two fields benefit greatly from advances made in either one of these disciplines. It seems that we are seeing a return to a world where art and science are one and the same.

I am an avid photographer, and therefore, my project deals with photographic concepts. The art of photography is deeply connected to many fields in science. Photography is possible because of advanced concepts of in physics and chemistry. In my project, high-speed photography is used to try to capture the passage of time, the fourth dimension. In my project, users are photographed using strobography in order to illustrate both a singular instant in time and the passage of time. By taking photos in a completely dark room, the shutter of a camera can be allowed to stay open for long periods of time because the photo will not be exposed. A strobe light is used to illuminate the subject and expose the film for only a fraction of a second. A single flash will capture things too fast for the human eye to detect, while on the other hand, a series of flashes will produce the perception of movement.



–Derek Spitters

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